Tag Archives: Lena Waithe

LGBT+ A-listers Pledge To Fight Against Sexual Harassment In The Workplace

To kick off 2018, women in Hollywood have announced a plan to fight back against sexual harassment and gender inequality in the entertainment industry and beyond.

The campaign was announced through a full-page ad in the New York Times which was a solidarity letter from all 300 women.

The open letter says that the Time’s Up campaign has been launched “for all victims and survivors to be able to access justice and support for the wrongdoing they have endured.”

The letter was inspired by the 700,000 female farmworkers who signed a solidarity letter in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

In this letter, the women state:

“We have similarly suppressed the violence and demeaning harassment for fear that we will be attacked and ruined in the process of speaking. We share your feelings of anger and shame. We harbour fear that no one will believe us, that we will look weak or that we will be dismissed; and we are terrified that we will be fired or never hired again in retaliation.”

Many of the film-stars have since started using their influence on social media as a way of spreading the word about the Time’s Up campaign.

The initiative, per The New York Times, does not have a set leader; instead, it is run largely by volunteers. However, various initiatives that fall under the group’s umbrella have already been announced.

In December, Kathleen Kennedy kicked off the Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace, a Hollywood-centric initiative led by Anita Hill.

Another initiative, 50/50 by 2020, has also been launched, with the goal of tasking networks, agencies, studios, unions, and others to create intersectional gender parity in their leadership by 2020.

There is also a separate commission focused on making sure the movement is fully intersectional and inclusive of women of color and the L.G.B.T.Q. community at large; Emmy winner Lena Waithe is part of that group, per the Times.

Talking to the Times, Waithe explained.

“No one wants to look back and say they stood at the sidelines.”

Meanwhile, Waithe has been vigorously to help get more people involved with the Time’s Up initiative.

Other Time’s Up members include the actresses Ashley Judd, Eva Longoria, America Ferrera, Natalie Portman, Rashida Jones, Emma Stone, Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon; the showrunner Jill Soloway; Donna Langley, chairwoman of Universal Pictures; the lawyers Nina L. Shaw and Tina Tchen, who served as Michelle Obama’s chief of staff; and Maria Eitel, an expert in corporate responsibility who is co-chairwoman of the Nike Foundation.

Lena Waithe’s New TV Show, ‘The Chi’, Makes It’s Debut

Just months after making TV history as the first black queer woman to win an Emmy for best comedy series writing, Lena Waithe is coming out with a new show, The Chi.

Produced with Common, a fellow Chicagoan, Waithe new series tells the story of normal people in her city’s South Side.

Talking to ET, she explained

“I’m really just trying to show people living. I want to show people who are young and black. I want to show what it’s like to have a dream, to have a job, what it’s like to have multiple partners in your life, you know, all those things, and it’s just as simple as that. You know, that’s the weird thing about it: This is normal life.”

The Chi premieres Sunday on Showtime, but the 57-minute pilot already has 828,000 views, thanks to some savvy marketing.

The push is paying off in Twitter praises too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPqbhroAPWI

Produced entirely in its namesake city, The Chi is a timely coming-of-age story centring on a group of residents who become linked by coincidence but bonded by the need for connection and redemption.

 

Queer Female Stars Push For Further Visibility At This Years Emmys

The Emmys are almost upon us, but before Sunday, Sept. 17 rolls around, we wanted to take a look at the female queer stars who we think deserves to win.

This years nominations include, Samira Wiley who is nominated for the first time for her riveting performance in the disturbingly brilliant Hulu adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s  The Handmaid’s Tale.

Lily Tomlin, is up for best lead actress in a comedy series for Grace and Frankie.

Evan Rachel Wood scored a nod for her performance in the series Westworld, a role for which also saw her take home the Critics’ Choice Award. 

Kate McKinnon is up for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for SNL, an award she also won the previous year, which should make her a frontrunner.

Ellen Page‘s Gaycation With Ellen Page is nominated for best unstructured reality series.

Laverne Cox and Shannon Purser (of Stranger Things) are both up for Best Guest Actress in a Drama.

Jamie Babbit is up for outstanding director in a comedy series for her episode of Silicon Valley. 

Jane Lynch got a nod for best actress in a short form for Dropping the Soap.

Wanda Sykes is up for Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for the show “Black-ish”.

And Lena Waithe scored a writing nomination for her “Thanksgiving” episode of Master of None.

There are also a number TV shows with queer characters were up for nomination too.

Master of NoneModern FamilyVeepThe Handmaid’s TaleRuPaul’s Drag RacePortlandiaSNL, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, House of Cards, How to Get Away with Murder, Ray Donovan, Transparent, Orange Is the New Black. Brown GirlsOne Day at a Time.

Even Black Mirror‘s ‘San Junipero’got a nomination for best TV movie.

I don’t know about you, but we’re thrilled that queer women are finally being recognised as actual talent by the mainstream media tycoons.

Stephen Colbert will host the Emmys on Sunday, Sept. 17 on CBS.

Lena Waithe Captures How Family Dynamics Change When You Come Out In Master of None’s’Thanksgiving’

Master of None  is a Netflix original, which was created by Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang.

The show explores topics of love, heartbreak, race, sexuality and humour throughout the season but episode eight stands out by far.

Episode eight, Thanksgiving, fleshes out the story of Dev’s friend Denise, played by Lena Waithe, and shows how her family came to accept her sexuality over a series of dinners.

The episode is quietly epic. It starts with a young Dev and Denise in the 1990’s.

The pair begins to learn about minorities at the age of nine when Denise mistakes Dev for being black in front of her mother, Catherine, played by Angela Bassett.

The episode jumps forward to 1995 when Denise decides that she doesn’t like to wear dresses, then to 1999 when she comes out to Dev.

In 2006, Denise finally comes out to her family, which is made up of her mother, aunt and grandmother.

In 2015, the character brings a “friend” home for the celebrations but her family is less than friendly with Denise’s partner.

The following year a different partner joins Denise, Dev and her family for the holidays and it goes even worse.

Finally in the present day 2017, Denise returns with her first date and her family have reached a level of acceptance to her and her sexuality.

The episode is a rarity as it focuses on Denise’s coming out story as a black, queer woman.

The narrative is based on Waithe’s own experience with coming out – something that the star rarely talks about in the public domain because she never “intended to make it TV fodder”.

Yalking to BuzzFeed News, Waithe explained

I never felt the need to tell it. I’m a big fan of telling a story about queer people post-coming-out because the truth is we’re more than our coming-out story.”

However, she decided she would use the opportunity to tell her story after Ansari and Yang were inspired by it.

This will be the one and only time I do this. Let me do it right, let me knock it out the park, because I’m not going to tell that story again.”

“I think it’s revolutionary, honestly, because oftentimes queer women of colour are told to sit down and be quiet and not have a voice. So the fact that everyone has embraced mine, I think, is definitely a wonderful step in the right direction.”

The idea to tell the story of Denise over 30 years of Thanksgivings stemmed from Ansari’s brother and was directed by Melina Matsoukas who previously worked on videos for Beyoncé and Rhianna.

Matsoukas was chosen despite being considered a “rookie” in the television world so that she could portray the black female narrative with more authenticity.

She said of the script,

“I saw a terrific opportunity. I’d never seen a black woman come out on television before.”

The director added that she worked closely with Waithe throughout so it would stay true to her and her character, Denise.

Waithe added that she was overjoyed with the outcome of the show.

“It’s just sort of like very validating when a queer woman of colour speaks up and the audiences respond with a rousing round of applause. I think it’s a beautiful thing, I think it’s a celebration.”

Showtime Picks Up Lena Waithe New Drama ‘The Chi’

Showtime has given the greenlight to a drama series called The Chi, created by Dear White People producer, Lena Waithe.

The Chi is a relevant, timely and distinctive coming-of-age story and follows a half dozen interrelated characters in the South Side of Chicago.

Waithe explained

I want the opportunity to tell stories that are not just about violence, but more about what is life like in a city that is riddled with violence. To follow multiple black men from different walks of life, with different goals, and different ideas of what it means to be a man — and what it looks like trying to survive the South Side of Chicago.”

On writing the pilot, she said,

I wasn’t really focused on the cops. I wanted to do a show about the people sitting in the back seat of the squad car and how they got there. I want to see them eating breakfast that morning before they left their house. If you see that, you have a different perspective on what he looks like now. You feel a connection to him because you saw him sitting at a table with his mom or his brother or whatever, just being a normal human being. You can actually sympathize with him and his journey, no matter what that journey looks like — and that journey may not always be pretty.

But to me, that’s what art is supposed to do. It’s supposed to make you see a side of humanity that you otherwise didn’t pay attention to.”

Straight Outta Compton’s Jason Mitchell play’s Brandon, an ambitious and confident young man who dreams about opening a restaurant of his own someday, but is conflicted between the promise of a new life and his responsibility to his mother and teenage brother back in the South Side.

Rick Famuyiwa will executive produce and direct the premiere episode.

In addition to her writing and producing credits, Waithe also plays Denise on the Netflix series “Master of None.”

No start date has yet been announced.

Lena Waithe Talks The Importance Of Self-Love As A Black Gay Woman

Lena Waithe – Netflix’s Master of None as Aziz Ansari’s truth-talking friend, Denise – has shared a touching letter to her younger self about self acceptance, love, sex and being proud to be black and gay.

maste_s1_089_h

In the Refinery29 video LoveMe, Wathie talks about why it’s important to have self-love as a black gay woman.

A big issue within the LGBT community is embracing oneself and not being ashamed. Especially among people of color, you still get those people who aren’t very open and who don’t want everybody to know. Within the Hollywood industry, you still have a lot of [Black] people who aren’t openly gay.

If you think of it, in terms of how many people there are in Black Hollywood, the numbers just don’t add up. There are way too few people who are out. It’s like that hashtag that’s going around, #oscarssowhite; I’d say #blackhollywoodsostraight.”

image (2)

She also shares the story of meeting her now partner (that dream woman she talks about in her video), Alana Mayo, who was straight-identified before meeting Lena, and how other people discuss her sexuality:

People will ask my girlfriend, ‘Alana, are you gay? Are you straight?’ For a second, she was trying to figure out, ‘Am I a lesbian?’ I was like, ‘No, I don’t think you should call yourself that, because a lesbian means you were born gay. I’m a lesbian.’ Then, she was like, ‘Am I bisexual?’

And I’m like, ‘Maybe?’ She was like, ‘You know what? I’m not going to label it. I’m just going to be myself.’ I think it’s interesting that we can say, ‘Look, sexuality is fluid and love is where you find it.’

 

Watch the video below: